With six minutes and 38 seconds left in the fourth quarter, St. John’s University senior guard Kadaja Bailey hit a three pointer to take the lead, 64-62, after trailing the Owls for the majority of the game.
Temple University women’s basketball (1-2, 0-0 The American Athletic conference) fell to the Red Storm (2-1, 0-0 The Big East Conference) 76-67 on Wednesday night at McGonigle Hall.
Head coach Tonya Cardoza attributed the Owls’ miscues to Temple’s inability to shoot beyond the arc and a lack of discipline on defense, which led to multiple fouls and turnovers.
“I thought St. John’s came in here with a great game plan,” Cardoza said. “Obviously, from the stats we weren’t confident shooters.”
Temple made five of 29 3-point attempts. Freshman guard Jasha Clinton, one of the Owls’ better shooters, was sidelined, which Cardoza said was her decision but did not elaborate. In Clinton’s absence, freshman guards Tiarra East and Aniya Gourdine created scoring opportunities, but only made one 3-pointer out of seven attempts.
The Owls gained a 10-point lead in the first quarter that helped them throughout the game.
However, the Owls started to get into foul trouble in the second quarter, with the team accumulating 23 fouls by the end of the game.
All of the Owls who played for more than one minute — except for graduate student center Shantay Taylor — were called for fouls, including graduate student forward Mia Davis, junior forward Alexa Williamson and graduate student guard Emani Mayo.
Along with taking contested shots, the poor effort on defense was one of the Owls’ biggest struggles throughout the game.
“I preached all the time that there’s going to be many games where we’re not making shots, but what are we going to do on the defensive end?” Cardoza said. “Just our lack of discipline on the defensive side — we don’t pay attention.”
After Bailey’s 3-pointer put the Red Storm ahead in the fourth quarter, St. John’s went on a 10-0 run with three minutes left in the game.
Cardoza told the Owls to shoot even if they couldn’t make it, resulting in them going 0-7 on 3-point shots in the fourth quarter, she said.
“We can’t continue to play defense the way that we’re playing defense,” Cardoza said. “It’s going to be a struggle sometimes to score and we need to be able to shut people down and not allow guys to score.”
Despite the foul trouble, Williamson and Davis worked well together to set up scoring opportunities and score off offensive rebounds, totalling 19 points and 25 points respectively.
“Being at home and allowing them to come in here and steal one, I think, if we don’t learn from this and learn fast, this is something that can’t continue,” Cardoza said.
Temple’s next matchup is against Bucknell University (1-1, 0-0 The Patriot League Athletic Conference) at home on Nov. 20 at 2 p.m. in McGonigle Hall.